Benjamin Netanyahu, the israeli Prime minister, has promised a vote by the Knesset, the israeli parliament, an act of annexation of certain areas of the west bank. It negotiates the size and the exact location with the administration Trump. The Palestinians are excluded from these discussions. For Saeb Erekat, the secretary-general of the executive committee of the PLO, which, since 1995, has negotiated all agreements with Israel, such an initiative will lead to the collapse of the autonomous authority headed by Mahmoud Abbas, and will have long-term consequences on the relations of the Palestinians with Israel. Exclusive Interview to The Point.
The Point : That means the annexation of the palestinian population in general and for the self-rule authority Mahmoud Abbas in particular ?
Saeb Erekat : For us, the annexation can only mean one thing : Israel has decided to impose on us its solution. Sit with us around a table to negotiate, it's finished ! We'll never have agreement negotiated between the two parties. In this regard, a reminder : the Oslo agreement and the interim agreement are based on four elements : 1/ the mutual recognition ; 2/ the application of resolutions 242 and 338 of the united nations as the objective of the negotiations ; 3/ disagreements over issues such as borders, Jerusalem, settlements, refugees, water, the palestinian prisoners will be the subject of negotiation to the final agreement ; 4/ and finally, none of the two parties does not take initiative or adopt measure that would change the status of the west bank and the Gaza strip pending the outcome of permanent status talks. At the beginning of the month, we have repeated the Quartet and at his request, our position. That is to say that we are ready to resume the negotiation on these grounds, adding that we will accept corrections of borders minor. But the time dictates has happened. In the coalition agreement between Netanyahu and Gantz, there is article 29, which defines precisely the ideological basis of this government : annexation. Then, they lay claim to a centimeter or 6 258 km2, it is the same thing. This is the principle that counts.
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De facto, annexation continues. The Israelis build where they want and when they want. But, in the case of annexation, within a few days or a few weeks, what will happen ?
If they want to attach, this means that they are ready to destroy the palestinian Authority. Hear me well ! This is not to say that we will decide on the dissolution of the palestinian Authority, but that it will not be able to withstand the effects and the impact of the annexation. It will break apart. It will be destroyed. Currently, she is responsible for wages, education, health, garbage collection. All things that will be the responsibility of Netanyahu. That being, the destruction of the palestinian Authority is ongoing since 2010, when it was put back in place the military administration on the whole of the west bank and Gaza. He has, since, entered into any agreement with us. And my job, then, consisted in receiving their documents, and to present our requests. I became the intermediary between my people and them. Him, Netanyahu has arrogated to itself the right to give me three answers choices : yes, no, or " we'll look at the thing ". Well, now, it is finished. It has budgets. He collects the taxes. It will pay the wages, collect the garbage ; he will take care of our children in the streets. He will be responsible for every Palestinian and Israeli killed.
just consider this : I am the one who has promised to the palestinian population that, when I recognized Israel, renounced violence, accepted the two-state solution and negotiated, it would be independent, free, and in his own State. Believe me : if the Israelis lay claim to, I will stay in my house, in my office in quarantine for always, because I will be too ashamed. How could I face my countrymen ? For them, I would be the one who has done this or that, all of these things... and what have we received in return ? The annexation ! Today, members of my own family refuse to shake hands with me. In the population, there are also people who refuse to greet me because I recognized the State of Israel.
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Since 1995, you have been the main palestinian negotiator. Already in 1991, you were one of the leaders of the palestinian delegation to the Madrid conference. In fact, you are the memory of the peace process...
I'd love to see the jews, muslims, christians live together in perfect equality – one man, one vote !
Pourtantc the plan Trump proposes the creation of a mini-palestinian State.
This is a diktat ! This is not a peace plan, but a project of annexation and apartheid, which sets in advance the outcome of talks on all subjects and requires our surrender. This is contrary to all agreements concluded between the two parties. After that, you really believe that over the next hundred years the Palestinian will agree to negotiate with an Israeli ?
In your opinion, what will be the reaction of the street, palestinian annexation ?
today, I think that a great majority said : "OK ! You don't want a two-state solution, then prepare for the fight of the Palestinians for a bi-national state with equal rights for all. Which is a concept very civilized. I would love to see the jews, muslims, christians live together in perfect equality – one man, one vote ! But you and I both know that this is impossible. The Israelis will not accept it. That said, there is another discourse, palestinian : "Look ! No occupation in history has done without the occupant has to pay the price. They, the Israelis, can not escape to the rule. They cannot continue to kill our children, our loved ones, without feeling the cost. "
Me, personally, I still think that the only possible solution is a palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living in peace and security alongside Israel. I know that, on this subject, I am in the minority among the Palestinians. And I also know that Netanyahu is against it. Because what he wants is a single State with two legal systems. That is to say, apartheid.
What do you expect from the Europeans ? They have not helped much so far...
I expect them to do something, they say to the Israelis : "If you attach, this will have consequences. We will impose sanctions. Things will change. Trade with Israel will not be the same. The special agreements will not be renewed in the same manner. "If Netanyahu understands that this is serious, it will not proceed to the annexation.
You know, last week, I organized a rally in Jericho. Diplomats from 48 countries were there to support us. By doing this, I wished that the Palestinians hear them say : "You are not alone. Do not despair. We are all with you. "